This Week In Cass-Land

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Working on a longer post - a positive one, for those of you who flinched at the thought of another of Cass's patented wrist-slashers (you know who you are!) - but it isn't quite done yet. 

I got about 2/3 of the way through it today, but I decided five hours of writing was enough, and went off to watch the new Paul Simon Graceland documentary. (It was wonderful.) So you'll have to settle for a few odds and ends for the time being. :c)

I spent most of today working on my post a few towns over from where I currently hang my hat after looking at a few apartments. My job situation is unsettled, but I really, really need some privacy, as anyone who is transitioning and not totally out - or living full-time yet - can attest.

I looked at two apartments, both of which I liked very much. Unfortunately, one didn't have parking, and the other had a driveway shared with the owner. Since they weren't adjoining spaces, this means one of us would have to move our car each time we had to leave. 

Needless to say, that is less than ideal for someone in my current situation. (I had visions of myself halfway through applying a facial mask or painting my toenails when my landlord calls up to say they need to go deliver a baby or something similar.) Also, this town doesn't allow parking on the street overnight, so a parking spot is a necessity. Pity, as both apartments were quite nice. Oh well. The search continues!


One of the reasons I need my own space is privacy. My parents do their best, but, well, they're set in their ways. And they don't grasp the concept of knocking before entering a room. I'm not doing anything that would be embarrassing (unless sating my Seattle Mariners jones counts), but still.

As I've mentioned, my parents, now retired, never go out. As is, they NEVER go out. I have been here for nearly three months now (shudder), and they have been home every single day. Every. Single. Day. I literally have not had any time to myself since early March. For someone who craves privacy like yours truly, that is less than ideal.

Worse, I have not been able to shave that entire time. At. All. My father, God love him, has an iffy stomach at the best of times. And even on those days, he is somewhat oblivious to social niceties, to put it kindly. 

The one time I did try to shave, he was knocking on the door every few minutes, loudly asking what on earth I was doing in there. (He didn't say "on earth," however.) 

My sister C, the only family member who knows about me, who had just arrived home from work, quickly sussed out what was happening, and told him - just as loudly - to mind his own darned business. (She didn't say "darned," however. Or even "damned." Well, not *just* "damned.")

Sensing yet another patented family firestorm on the horizon, I sighed, staunched the bleeding from the multitude of gashes incurred when he banged on the door to inquire if I was "still in there," and reminded myself that this was temporary.

Anyway, they celebrated their anniversary this week. I won't say which one, but it's enough for them to be justly proud. Even better… they actually went out! At the same time! By themselves!

No sooner had their car pulled out of the driveway than my sister turned to me and said, "Go for it while you can - they're liable to turn around if they so much as hit a red light on the way there."

So I did. And I am proud to report I am the proud owner of a pair of freshly shorn legs. Well, more or less shorn. (You know it's been a while when your razor recoils in horror.) All joking aside, it feels SO much better now. Here's hoping it isn't three months before I get to do it again!


On a related note, I went out to dinner with my friend F last weekend. I hadn't seen him in several months, so it was good to catch up.

As we were driving back to my parents house, F cleared his throat.

"Um, I didn't want to say anything while we in the restaurant," he said, "But… well, I think you might not want to wear that shirt anymore."

I was wearing a fitted shirt I had purchased several years before with the assistance of my friend C, who was tired of seeing my in clothes that were always hanging off me. 

"You're too skinny to wear stuff like that," she said. "You need to shop where gay men shop."

"Where's that?" I asked.

"American Apparel!" she replied. Apparently this was common knowledge, or else I had missed the memo.

We picked out several shirts, which I have happily worn without a thought ever since. Until F's comment, that is. I glanced down and immediately understood what he meant.

"Whoa," I said, genuinely surprised. "When the heck did *that* happen?"

F laughed.

"I had a hunch you didn't realize it. I only noticed because, well, I know what's going on. But… uhh, it's sort of beginning to get obvious."

"I guess it is," I said, still looking down. "How about that?"

"Congratulations, Cass," he said. "Must be exciting."

"It is. It sure makes up for how sore they are all the time."

"That's good."

The next day I went for my daily walk, taking care to wear a somewhat baggy t-shirt. That should take of things for the time being, I thought. 

Then I happened to glance in a storefront window several hours later as I was walking home. 

"Uh-oh," I thought. Turns out I was competing in my own wet t-shirt contest. And winning.

As soon as I arrived home and had taken a shower, I went to my sister's room, where she was sprawled on her bed reading her Kindle.

"Um, I need a little advice," I said, closing the door.

"I can see that," she said with a small grin. 

"Oh God, is it that obvious?" I asked.

"No, not until just now," she said. "You're trying to cover them, but that just draws attention to them. But no worries.. We can fix that. C'mere," she said, jumping off her bed. 

She headed to her closet and began flinging items of clothing in my general direction without turning.

"What are these?" I asked, peeling several items off my face.

"Sports bras," she said matter-of-factly as she continued rummaging. "You don't want to use ace bandages. Too uncomfortable in the summer. And you have that sensitive Irish skin, poor thing, so you'll just have a rash all the time."

She came out from the closet and dumped a small pile of clothes on her bed.

"We're pretty close size-wise, I think," adding as an afterthought, "Bitch."

(She was kidding. I think.)

"Seriously, these should work for you. There are a bunch of different colors and styles here. So you can mix and match with your guy shirts for now.

"We'll go out some night and buy you a bunch of stuff. You can keep it in here. And in the meantime, if you need anything, just come in and help yourself. Like I said, pretty much anything I have should fit you."

Have I mentioned how lucky I am? :c)


Last but not least, back to my folks, and the night of their anniversary. 

I had just arrived home from work and was chatting with my mother as she curled her hair while my father was taking a shower.

"Is it raining out?" she asked.

"A little," I admitted.

"Oh crap," she said. (She really did say "crap." She never uses profanity, which may spur my other family members to pick up the slack.) "And after I spent all this time on my hair."

"It's not raining hard," I said. "By the way, your hair looks really nice." 

And it did.

"Thank you," she said.

She turned to me, curling iron in hand.

"Too bad I can't borrow your curls," she said, and smiled. "Just for tonight."

I was taken aback, to be honest. She has made no secret of her disapproval as my hair has slowly crept over my ears and down my neck.

"Your hair looks awful," she said recently. "When are you getting it cut?"

"I'm not," I said. "I like it the way it is."

"Well, you're the only one," she shot back.

"Well, my opinion is the only one that matters," I replied calmly.

My sister, who witnessed this (and is, as you may have gathered, a bit feisty), later said I should have told her to mind her own damned business.

"You're too nice for your own good," she said, shaking her head. "I know it bothers you when she talks like that. What you do is your business, not anyone else's. I don't have a problem telling them so. And neither should you."

"She doesn't mean it the way it comes out," I said.

"No, she doesn't," said my sister. "But that's because she doesn't always think enough about other people's feelings  before she says things sometimes.You're just being yourself. You should just say so."
Having seen how well that's worked out for them, I decided - again - that discretion is the better part of valor, and opted to simply keep my own counsel. One of my favorite sayings, attributed to both Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain, seems appropriate: "Better to be silent and thought a fool, then to speak and remove all doubt."

Amen to that.

Anyway, as I said, I was surprised at even the hint of approval.

"Well, you can have them as your anniversary gift if you want," I said, smiling in return.

"No, because I'm afraid I wouldn't want to give them back. Besides," she said, turning back to the mirror, "they belong to you, after all."

"I guess that's true."

"Thank you for the offer, though, hon," she said.

"You're welcome," I said, then leaned over and gave her a kiss. "Happy Anniversary, Mom."

"Thank you, L."

Even when they drive you crazy… maybe *especially* when they drive you crazy - they're still your Mom and Dad. :c)

And on that note, have a good week, all! Don't forget to fire up the microwave and get the popcorn popping in advance of my next massive missive... 


Since I mentioned Paul Simon, here's a wonderful live performance of the title track from his landmark Graceland album, taken from a performance in Zimbabwe. I was fortunate enough to see him on this tour, and it was a truly transcendent experience.

And here's the title track from his equally good 1983 Hearts & Bones album. A moving meditation on his brief marriage to Carrie Fischer, Simon quite rightly considers this one of his best songs.


Jessica Lyn on June 18, 2012 at 3:21 AM said...

It's been a while since I've commented, sorry.. but I have read every post, just haven't always had the time to comment or I was reading them on my phone and whatnot.

Anyway, as I sit here yawing myself to sleep, I do have some comments to make because I know the feeling the that hairy legs bring.. my mom just bought a pool and being in AZ, well, I've just been enjoying it. But with a certain other family member not knowing about me yet, I've let my leg hair grow out so that I can enjoy the pool without comments about my hairless legs. I hate them being hairy.. but I must do what I must for now.

Also, about the sports bras.. despite not starting hormones yet, I've actually been wearing sports bras for a few years now. It started as just a test to see if I could get away with wearing them, but after a while it just felt right to have them on. And now I feel so naked without one.. which brings me back to the pool.. as much as I'd love to be wearing a cute bikini in it, that's just not going to happen yet, so I've been wearing shorts and a t-shirt (tho I badly need a tan), but I don't wear the bra under the shirt for obvious reasons.. so I again feel naked. Kinda funny considering I'm all covered up!

Cassidy on June 18, 2012 at 9:34 PM said...

Hi Jess!

So nice to hear from you!

I certainly understand not having time to do things. I'm trying to determine when life went into warp drive - but I haven't had time to think about it enough. (I can hear Alanis Morrissette humming "Ironic" in the background…)

My leg hair was clearly growing at warp speed, that much is certain. I had to go back a few days later on a reconnaisance mission to eliminate stragglers. Mission accomplished, thankfully. What a relief!

My body hair elsewhere is noticably decreasing, and/or becoming finer, which is nice. I'm nearing the point where I can actually, dare I say, expose my shoulders! Wonders never cease. And when I can, I could likely fund my transition by having a contest to guess the number of freckles! lol

I share your love of the pool - well, of swimming, anyway. I'm fair-skinned, so the sun is not my friend. Particularly not with laser/electrolysis in my immediate future. Between that and my, um, new friends (which are quite - and I emphasize "quite" - small, but still noticeable), I could only gaze longingly at the shimmering water yesterday. Alas, such are the sacrifices one must make, I suppose.

I understand the "naked" feeling; I already feel "off" when I don't have one on. Funny how quickly you adjust to these things! I've realized, though, that my days of being able to stagger out the door 20 minutes after waking up are, if not nearly up, at least in their final run. :c) Again, small sacrifices, right?

Again, nice of you to drop a line, Miss J. I hope you are well on your way to being a bronzed goddess! :c)

== Cass

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